TdF 2006 - Stage 16

19 Jul 2006

After a good performance on the Alpe d’ Huez (1700m/h for Kloden and Landis), the 16th stage of the Tour de France, with about 5000m of total climbing, proposed a classic challenge for endurance riders, where apart from the engine also the tank becomes decisive.

As we’ve already seen on Stage 11 in the Pyrenees, the gaps between the riders got wider today, dramatically wider for some athletes.
When the glycogen runs out, the level of performance drops and it is possible to lose more than 30 seconds per km of climbing.

80 km of climbing today, equal to about 4 hours of effort and corresponding to 4000-5000 kcal: impossible to rely on carbohydrates as the only source of fuel. Therefore the importance of fats and the “lipidic power” (see article on 53x12.com).

Mikael Rasmussen confirmed his excellent endurance skills with a breakaway of almost 180km, half of which totally alone.
1417 m/h was his VAM on the Croix de Fer (22.7km at 6.9%).
1411 m/h on the Col de Mollard (5.8km at 6.8%) and 1336 m/h on the final ascent to La Toussuire (18km at 6%).

Behind him the group of the favorites: 1392 m/h on the Croix de Fer, 1500 m/h on the Mollard and 1470 m/h on the Toussuire.